If we wanted to make a list of publications that showed the depth of the work of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, we couldn’t do better than the list of the most downloaded publications released in 2017. Covering the health effects of cannabis, science communication, genome editing, immigration, health equity, dementia, and climate science, the variety of our work coincides with the most read.
We released 327 publications this year. These were the most downloaded.
In 1900, for every 1,000 babies born in the United States, 100 would die before their first birthday, often due to infectious diseases. Today, vaccines exist for many viral and bacterial diseases. Our collection of reports examine immunization safety in depth and present the science to support vaccination’s crucial role in protecting public health.
Ecosystems provide a wide variety of marketable goods. However, society is increasingly recognizing the myriad functions—the observable manifestations of ecosystem processes such as nutrient recycling, regulation of climate, and maintenance of biodiversity—that they provide, without which human civilizations could not thrive.
Valuing Ecosystem Services evaluates methods for assessing services and the associated economic values of aquatic and related terrestrial ecosystems. It focuses on identifying and assessing existing economic methods to quantitatively determine the intrinsic value of these ecosystems in support of improved environmental decision-making, including situations where ecosystem services can be only partially valued.
There is growing recognition that a host of social and behavioral factors affect how we prepare for, observe, predict, respond to, and are impacted by weather hazards. For example, an individual’s response to a severe weather event may depend on their understanding of the forecast, prior experience with severe weather, concerns about their other family members or property, their capacity to take the recommended protective actions, and numerous other factors.
It is essential to bring to bear expertise in the social and behavioral sciences (SBS) to understand how people’s knowledge, experiences, perceptions, and attitudes shape their responses to weather risks and to understand how human cognitive and social dynamics affect the forecast process itself. Our report explores and provides guidance on the challenges of integrating social and behavioral sciences within the weather enterprise. It assesses current SBS activities, describes the potential value of improved integration of SBS and barriers that impede this integration, develops a research agenda, and identifies infrastructural and institutional arrangements for successfully pursuing SBS-weather research and the transfer of relevant findings to operational settings.
With so many complex and sometimes uncertain scientific issues facing our society, there has never been a more critical time to communicate science effectively. A National Academy of Sciences event, the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium on the Science of Science Communication III begins today and runs through tomorrow, November 17th. Watch the free webcast to hear from researchers, practitioners, content experts, and philanthropists, all vested in ensuring that evidence-based science communication thrives.
Our books provide guidance to improve communication of and public engagement with science:
Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda
Science and technology are embedded in virtually every aspect of modern life. As a result, people face an increasing need to integrate information from science with their personal values and other considerations as they make important life …
Photo credit: NASA
This week, the Gulf Research Program announced it will be awarding up to $2 million in fast-track grants to help scientific research efforts recover from the impacts of Gulf Coast hurricanes Harvey and Irma. For more information about this and other funding opportunities from the program, visit www.nas.edu/gulf/grants.
Over its 30-year duration, the Gulf Research Program works to enhance oil system safety and the protection of human health and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf areas by seeking to improve understanding of the region’s interconnecting human, environmental, and energy systems and fostering application of these insights to benefit Gulf communities, ecosystems, and the Nation.
Learn more about the Gulf Research Program.
The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2016
Each year, the Gulf Research Program (GRP) produces an annual report to summarize how funds were used. These reports review accomplishments, highlight activities, and, over time, will assess metrics to determine how the program is progressing in …
The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2015
Each year, the Gulf Research Program produces an annual report to summarize how funds were used. These reports review accomplishments, highlight activities, and, over time, will assess metrics to determine how the program is progressing in …
The Gulf Research Program: A Strategic Vision
In 2010 the Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico caused the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, resulting in significant impacts on the region’s environment and residents. Legal settlements with the …
The Gulf Research Program Annual Report 2013-2014
The 2013-2014 annual report highlights the establishment and first activities of the Gulf Research Program, an independent, science-based program founded in 2013. Through grants, fellowships, and other activities, the Gulf Research Program seeks …
Science, Evolution, and Creationism explains the fundamental methods of science, documents the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution, and evaluates the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including “intelligent design.” The book explores the many fascinating inquiries being pursued that put the science of evolution to work in preventing and treating human disease, developing new agricultural products, and fostering industrial innovations.
Our Evolution Collection details the extensive evidence that exists in support of biological evolution, stresses the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem management, and evaluates the alternative perspectives offered by various kinds of creationism. These reports also focus on how science and religion can be viewed as different ways of understanding the world, rather than as frameworks that are in conflict with each other.
Science, Evolution, and Creationism
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other …
Dual Use Research of Concern in the Life Sciences: Current Issues and Controversies examines the U.S. strategy for reducing biosecurity risks in life sciences research and considers mechanisms that would allow researchers to manage the dissemination of the results of research while mitigating the potential for harm to national security.
On October 20th, members of the authoring committee for the report, Arturo Casadevall and Claire Fraser, participated in a Reddit AMA discussing the misuse of life sciences research and ways to mitigate this threat. Read the archive here.
Learn more about biosecurity with our collection.
Did you participate in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill today? It is imperative that communities and the nation consider the difficult fiscal, social, cultural, and environmental choices about the best ways to ensure basic security and quality of life against earthquakes. These books present a roadmap for increasing our national resilience to earthquakes and outline additional information, data, gaps, and obstacles that need to be addressed in order to do so.
The Cascadia Megaquake webinar series focused on the science and engineering associated with the earthquake source, the hazards, current strategies to mitigate loss of life, and emerging opportunities in early warning and reducing uncertainty.
Watch Part 1
Watch Part 2
Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative
No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation and its communities. Communities and the nation …
Electricity is indispensable to modern society, but emissions resulting from many forms of electricity generation create environmental risks that continue to threaten significant negative economic, security, and human health consequences. How can we balance the affordability and reliability of more traditional methods with the low emissions of cleaner power generation? Our reports discuss options and opportunities to move towards increasingly clean electric power technologies.
Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System
Americans’ safety, productivity, comfort, and convenience depend on the reliable supply of electric power. The electric power system is a complex “cyber-physical” system composed of a network of millions of components spread out across the continent. These components are owned, operated, …
Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles
In the past few years, interest in plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) has grown. Advances in battery and other technologies, new federal standards for carbon-dioxide emissions and fuel economy, state zero-emission-vehicle requirements, and the current administration’s goal of putting millions of …
Utilizing the Energy Resource Potential of DOE Lands
The potential for energy resource development on Department of Energy (DOE)-managed lands remains a topic of interest within DOE, Congress, and with private developers interested in siting projects on DOE lands. Several previous studies have estimated the energy resource development potential …
An Assessment of the Prospects for Inertial Fusion Energy
The potential for using fusion energy to produce commercial electric power was first explored in the 1950s. Harnessing fusion energy offers the prospect of a nearly carbon-free energy source with a virtually unlimited supply of fuel. Unlike nuclear fission plants, appropriately designed fusion …
Addressing the Energy-Water Nexus: 2013-2014 Meetings in Brief
Adequate water and energy are critical to the continued economic security of the United States. The relationship between energy and water is complex, and the scientific community is increasingly recognizing the importance of better understanding the linkages between these two resource domains. …